It’s a well-known phenomenon. Mothers of young children will suddenly stop mid-sentence to wonder why certain phrases spew from their mother tongues—phrases that sound suspiciously familiar because they first heard these phrases as children, coming from the mouths of their own mothers. But, since passing the half-century mark, I’ve discovered this phenomenon is taking a new twist— I seem to have graduated from sounding like my mother to statements more closely resembling those of my grandmothers.

For example: When I was a child, I remember thinking my Grandmothers had a weird approach to the passage of time. “Time goes too fast,” they said. “Don’t waste time wishing your life away!” I really couldn’t relate — after all, time moved at snail’s speed, especially when considering those much-anticipated events — like birthdays, Christmas, summer vacation (of course, any event involving gifts received the highest anticipation).

Then there was the mundane matter of walking in the yard. My grandmothers often complained about the yard being “bumpy” and difficult to maneuver. That sentiment also was perplexing as a child, since I could run effortlessly through the yard, never encountering a single “bump.”

My grandmothers were right. The days are speeding past and the yard seems to possess more bumps and ridges than ever before. And, sometimes, I hear their declarations coming from my mouth. If these cases are at all evidence of my recent “grandmotherly” bent, then, it must be true that I’m now undergoing a transformation from my mother to my grandmothers.

But, I take solace in the fact that, while my chronological age qualifies me as “grandmotherly,” my children have not yet made me an official “grandmother.” This comforting fact soon faded as I was visiting, one recent day, with a neighbor who has small children. The mother’s 3-year-old daughter suddenly approached and, in her cutest “munchkin” voice, deemed me “a grandma.” I guess, even a child of such a young age could readily see that I more closely resembled her grandmothers than her mother. When I told this girl that I don’t have any grandchildren, she looked sad. The girl didn’t have to think long before declaring that I could be her grandma! Now, when I see her outside, she always speaks and, yes, she calls me “Grandma!”

-- Debbie Coleman-Topi lives in Blue Springs.